MODESTO -- A Modesto mother and her two young girls are now dead after California Highway Patrol Modesto says a suspected drunken driver crashed into their home while the family was sleeping.
“This was no accident,” said CHP Officer Tom Olsen. “Somebody chose to drink and drive and because of that three people lost their lives. They had a whole life ahead of them.”
A window was boarded up and a damaged fence and a candle were all that was left after suspected drunken driver Felix Ferdin crashed through the home on Modesto’s Sam Avenue.
“Well, I feel bad for them. Sorry that something like that had to happen and someone’s life, you know, especially children. Sad that they had to go through that,” said neighbor Rudy Fimbrez.
Officer Olsen says around 1:30 Sunday morning, 46-year-old Ferdin is suspected of driving faster than 50 mph in his Chevrolet Equinox on Holm Avenue.
“That driver ignored that stop sign, was driving by witness accounts at a high rate of speed,” Olsen said.
He rushed past a stop sign on Herndon Road and straight into 38-year-old Mari Jacinto-Hernandez’s bedroom, where she and three daughters were sleeping.
The force of the crash was so great parts of the wooden fence Ferdin drove through ended up on top of the home’s roof.
Olsen said the crash killed Jacinto-Hernandez and her 3- and 5-year-old girls.
The only survivor was Jacinto-Hernandez’s 10-year-old daughter. She was flown to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
“To go to scenes like this and see not just a mom but two children die and one clinging onto life, it affects all of us,” Olsen said.
The officer said as of Monday afternoon, the girl was still in critical condition.
Ferdin, who only sustained minor injuries, faces at least three counts of manslaughter and more charges may be added depending on what happens with the only survivor.
Jacinto-Hernandez’s husband also lived at the home but he was at work at the time.